I work for a Wales-wide Social Care representative organisation, which is based in Wrexham. Through this role I sit on a number of regional and national bodies and am used to taking up difficult issues and speaking truth to power. I am also a regular attender at Wrexham Business Professionals.
I previously ran a UK-wide charity promoting maths education in secondary schools, worked for the BBC, as a sole trader and for two national local government organisations. I spent my first seven years living above the corner shop my parents ran.
I’ve been an active member of the Labour Party since I was a teenager and I’m also a member of the GMB and Community Union and the Co-operative Party.
As both a parliamentary and regional list candidate I have taken part in a number of hustings and represented Welsh Labour in the media including debating with sitting MPs and Assembly Members from other parties, where I was able to hold my own. For example, I took part in a live election debate on BBC Radio Wales in Wrexham Town Centre in 2016 with representatives of other parties including AMs standing for re-election.
I have experience of getting things done in parliament. In the 1990s I ran the BBC’s parliamentary campaign to ensure key sporting events such as the FA Cup Final and the then Five Nations rugby remained on free-to-view television available to all as a shared national experience; I’ve also set up and supported an all-party parliamentary group and secured concessions from the then Home Secretary, Michael Howard on the composition of police authorities. I’ve always tried to use my roles to create positive change: currently for the social care workforce and those receiving care and support. In a previous job I established a new annual maths summer school for talented pupils from ordinary schools and established a new national sixth form competition: both of which still run.
I’m a welsh learner and won the prose trophy in the 2018 Eisteddfod y Dysgwyr in Llanrwst.
My husband and I have three children: our eldest lives and works in Greater Manchester and our younger two are students. I’m the daughter of an electrician and a secretary: ordinary working people who brought me up with a strong ethos to give something back to society. My parents were both Labour councillors. My Dad won a gold badge from his trade union and a merit award from the Labour Party. My mum went on to run a volunteer bureau and received an OBE for her services to the community. Like Neil Kinnock, mine was the first generation in my family to go to university. From a state school, I got a full grant to study maths at Oxford, where I was elected President of the Student Union. I was then elected to the National Union of Students executive.